Richmond airport travelers, Midlothian clinic visitors may have been exposed to measles, officials warn

RICHMOND, Va. — Health officials issued a warning Saturday for folks who may have come in contact with a person with measles this week in Henrico and Chesterfield counties.

“Central Virginia area health officials are mounting a coordinated effort to identify people who may have been exposed,” Richmond & Henrico Health Districts Marketing & PR Manager George Jones said in a news release.

Officials said the person with the confirmed case of measles first visited Richmond International Airport on Tuesday, Dec. 17 from 9 to 11:45 p.m.

“Of note, the individual did not pick up bags in baggage claim and proceeded directly to a private vehicle at curbside for transport,” officials said.

Additionally, the person visited the Health Visions MD (1230 Alverser Drive, Suite 100 in Midlothian) on Thursday, Dec. 19 from 12:30 to 5:30 p.m.

Measles, which is common in many parts of the world, is highly contagious and is spread through coughing, sneezing. Symptoms usually appear in two stages, officials said.

“In the first stage, most people have a fever of greater than 101 degrees, runny nose, watery red eyes and a cough,” Jones said. “The second stage begins around the third to seventh day when a rash begins to appear on the face and spreads over the entire body.”

Officials warned that based on the exposure date, those infected could develop symptoms as late as Jan. 11, 2020.

Officials offered the following advice for anyone who may have been exposed:

  • If you have received two doses of a measles containing vaccine (either the measles, mumps and rubella [MMR] vaccine or a measles-only vaccine which is available in other countries) you are protected and do not need to take any action.
  • If you have received only one dose of a measles containing vaccine, you are very likely to be protected and your risk of being infected with measles from any of these exposures is very low. However, to achieve complete immunity, contact your health care provider about getting a second vaccine dose.
  • If you have never received a measles containing vaccine nor had a documented case of measles, you may be at risk of getting measles from this exposure. In particular, if you are pregnant and unimmunized or unaware of your immune status, immunocompromised, or an infant under 12 months of age, you/your infant may be at risk of severe illness if you develop measles from this exposure. Contact your health care provider or your local health department for advice on possible intervention to decrease your risk of becoming infected or other precautions you may need to take.
  • If you notice the symptoms of measles, stay home and away from others and immediately call your primary health care provider or health department to discuss further care. Call ahead before going to the office or the emergency room and tell them that you were exposed to measles and are having symptoms.

Residents in Henrico or Chesterfield Health Districts with questions can call the health department at 804-501-4150.

Click here for more information about measles from the Virginia Department of Health.

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